Tips for Throwing a Mardi Gras Party

Fat Tuesday is around the corner, and are you ready?  Even if you’ve never been to the real Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans (and if you ever have a chance, do try and go – it’s a once in a lifetime party), there’s no reason why you can’t create a truly festive bash in your own home.  Maybe there won’t be floats and a parade, but there are plenty of other ways to celebrate.

  • Richly colorful decorations set the tone for a Mardi Gras celebration. The official colors of the holiday are rich, royal purple, green, and gold. Use these colors in your table setting, drape streamers all around, and have helium or simply air-blown balloons all over in these hues. The more color the better.
  • Pick some NOLA music: choose from New Orleans brass, zydeco, or swing and get a playlist ready to go for the duration of the party. Look online for pre-made playlists.
  • Don’t forget the beads. There are lots of places to order beads online, or check out your local party store. Drape some over your guests’ necks as they walk in the door, and also give them a mask so they can do the Mardi Gras incognito thing if they wish. Masks can also be bought online or at a party store; there are some really nice ones out there so look around!
  • Or encourage your guests to come in costume – in New Orleans there is no such thing as a too-crazy costume (you may wish to set some ground rules in your home!)
  • Make sure to have a menu that reflects the food of the Big Easy.  Think about dishes like muffelata, etouffee, oysters, jambalaya, gumbo, smoked sausages, crawfish, Creole shrimp, red beans and rice, po’ boys, bread pudding, and the most classic Mardi Gras dessert, King Cake.

And then it’s time to let the Good Times Roll!